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What Are Hormones?

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Hormones are chemical messengers secreted by cell or gland. These messengers are sent out from one part of the body to affect cells in other parts of the body. Hormones are often released directly into the bloodstream, but they may also be secreted into ducts.

Hormones can have a wide range of effects on the body. They can cause mood swings, regulate the metabolism, control the reproductive cycle, induce hunger and cravings, stimulate or inhibit growth and prepare the body for changes such as puberty, childbirth or menopause. Hormone signals also play a major role in homeostasis, or the control and regulation of the body's internal environment.

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